Mary Elizabeth Grumblatt, “Beth”, was born in NYC to John and Ann Brennan. She lived in Queens, Greenwich Village, and in Long Island during her youth. She was baptized and brought up Catholic from her earliest days, often walking to daily Mass. She was a Yankees fan and always enjoyed trips to Yankee Stadium. She was an honor student throughout her school years and was the valedictorian of her senior class at William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens.
After secretarial training in Virginia and New York City, she worked in New York at several businesses, including the Fred Astaire Dance Studio on Park Avenue. During 1955, she took a break from her work and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, meeting future actress Eileen Brennan while there. She spoke of how she enjoyed the ballet performances in the city as well as attending occasional Broadway plays. She loved to dance and was proficient at several different styles.
In 1963, she left NYC to work at the US Naval Air Station in Key West, Florida. Three years later, she accepted a job at NASA at Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo program. She met her future husband, Leo, during those demanding years of the Space Race at KSC.
They were married on August 11, 1967. (There was no approved leave time, after their church ceremony- they had a modest reception later in the evening and were back to work Monday morning). Beth left KSC in 1969 to care for her newborn twins, and as Apollo 11 ascended on its historic mission to the moon, she watched from her driveway with both infants in her arms.
In the years to follow, Beth and her husband were relentless advocates for the right to life of the unborn. She was one of the founders of Birth Right of Cocoa Beach, Florida, shorty after Roe v Wade in 1973. Additionally, she and Leo worked tirelessly in the local parochial schools to provide and/or retain catechetical curricula consistent with the Church’s perennial teachings and to advocate for solid spiritual formation for all schoolchildren in local parishes. Ultimately, despite the considerable financial and personal sacrifices, and a year of home-schooling, she and her husband selflessly sent their children to Fr. Nelson- 2000 miles away in Powers Lake, North Dakota- for enduring Catholic formation.
She and Leo supported numerous organizations throughout their married life. After Leo’s retirement in 1988, the couple moved to Saint Mary’s, Kansas, to live out their deep faith and love of God with daily Mass and frequent confession, along with all the additional sacramentals and devotions so readily available at Assumption Chapel. She also volunteered in various capacities for several years. They were tremendously grateful for the work of the SSPX and to have the opportunity to join those who worked so hard to make Saint Mary's Priory a reality.
Throughout those final decades, Beth remained a vigilant, tirelessly generous benefactor to so many individuals and organizations. It was not uncommon to meet someone on the street or talk to someone even in another state who knew Beth either as a donor to some important endeavor or a facilitator for some spiritual resource or some hard-to-find book or even an old classic film or documentary.
Once she became aware of a need, she could not be stopped in her pursuit to help others. In the week just prior to her death, she had several folks enlisted on various missions to find specific Christmas gifts she hoped to provide various family members, friends, and acquaintances. (If she wasn't happy with the item or you got the wrong thing, you were not off the hook until you got it right). She often lamented that she could not give more to help those in need.
Beth was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved husband of 36 years, Leo. She is survived by her children Laurie (Chris) Spencer, Jim (Lorrie) Grumblatt, Donna (Dan) Prather, 23 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
There will be a reception at St. Joseph's Hall following interment, and local guests are asked to bring a dish with them.
Requiem Mass for Mary Elizabeth Grumblatt will be 9:00 A.M. Saturday, December 23, 2023 at the Immaculata. A Rosary will be recited at 5:20 P.M. Friday, December 22, 2023 at the church. Burial will be in Our Lady Of Peace Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Benedictine Monastery, 142 Joseph Blane Road, Silver City, NM 88061, or La Salette Academy, 5065 Olivet, Georgetown, IL 61846, or Discalced Hermits of Our Lady of Carmel, P.O. Box 485, Fairfield, PA 17320. You may also donate online by clicking on one of the links below: